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Backyard privacy ideas, alley entry neighborhood.

March 14, 2019
Hello Houzzers!

Looking for help with landscaping privacy and / or privacy screens in our coastal Wilmington, NC 28411 backyard.

We live in a neighborhood where the homes are rear entry so there’s neighborly traffic in the alleyway. While we love our neighbors, having privacy is pretty high up on my wish list.

The driveway has been my biggest challenge in figuring out placement of privacy screens and plants. Love the idea of bamboo planter boxes, but where to place?

There’s so much cement and pavement in our view.. it could really use something softening and nature.

We’re considering adding deck boards on top of 12x15 ish patio to expand and/or change shape. Would love to have seating along patio and a mini fire pit, but not sure we have the space for it..

Budget: TBD

Thanks everyone! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Side note: HOA Fence height restriction is 4’. But privacy screens aren’t restricted in size.

Comments (7)

  • PRO
    creations landscape designs

    Perhaps you could use a tall hedge as a screen. Something that gets 6+ feet tall. Maybe Mahonia or Tecoma.

  • Carrie
    Thank you, where would you suggest we plant the screen? Right along the alley?
  • PRO
    creations landscape designs

    Yes you could do that. Just make sure that if a plant gets say 6' tall that you leave that much room from the trunk to allow that plant to grow with crowding each other or other plants.

  • Carrie
    I love this idea.. don’t know if it works with our space..
  • PRO
    creations landscape designs

    This could work. Perhaps on a smaller scale.

  • Christopher C Nc

    Your back alley entry - backyard combo is a unique hybrid of standard house layout. The landscaping will have to adjust accordingly. This makes the space designed and intended for your private outdoor use semi-public. I am gathering the privacy you most need is for the back screen porch and the back patio slab.

    First off, no you may not plant a tall hedge along the alley to make the backyard private, mainly because you can't block the view of traffic in the alley. If it is one way I might consider it.

    Now I want to see if I can work your HOA fence to your advantage. If you like this idea it might be worth haggling with the HOA about it if need be.

    Start the fence on the house corner on the left behind the screened porch. Put a gate in it and run it across the side yard. Head halfway to the alley, turn left and run the fence to the edge of the driveway. Your screen porch and back patio are now enclosed in their own room.

    Leave enough space, four to six feet, on both sides of the fence for planting.

    Ditch the tiny beds between the screen porch, patio slab and drive. They are useless.

    Leave the driveway side of your new backyard enclosure fully open to the drive. Privacy for this side will be planted across the driveway along the property line.

    If the HOA refuses this fence layout, the same general line of planting beds will do the same.

    Grasses are a good choice for your location for some very quick privacy. I would not however do them as a hedge of sorts. That would be dull.

    The two small trees I see planted, one in each side yard, will need to be relocated to better suit this layout most likely. What looks like a birch tree can be an anchor and specimen plant for the outside of your planted fence and privacy enclosure.

  • PRO

    Where do you need privacy and where would people be whose view you want to block?

    With surrounding grade levels already happily established. raising the patio level with any material is not without potential problems ... trapping water, creating trip hazards or awkward accessibility. It would be easier to limit changes to the 2-D shape and then treat the surface cosmetically with some type of coating or other surface treatment as there are some options.

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